A Fairy Tale Find
A classic cottage in Arden gets an update by going back to its roots.
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Sadie Somerville discovered her Storybook-style home in storybook fashion.
The house hunter was taking a whirl, literally, through Arden when a friend took her by the hand and waltzed her over to a cottage known as The Castle for its swooping roof lines and distinctive tower.
“I was at a dance at the Gild Hall and she came and got me,” Somerville recalls. “I knew right away that it was the right house for me.”
Built in 1923, the cottage features the leaded-glass windows, charming nooks and beamed ceilings that are a hallmark of Storybook style, a fanciful genre of one-of-a-kind homes born in Hollywood around 1920.
Somerville was delighted that such details as iron chandeliers crafted at the Arden Forge were still intact. The owner of Somerville Manning Gallery at Breck’s Mill on the Brandywine, she also found the cottage was an ideal spot to display both paintings and her collection of Arts and Crafts furniture.
But for more than 15 years, she made do with the cramped kitchen, where guests frequently bumped their heads on the chandelier. Then she married Rodney Jester, an avid art collector who lived only a few doors away.
“We cook together every night and we dine by candlelight every night,” she says. “It’s our tradition.”
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